There are a lot of reasons! Making a feature-length film or video project these days is very difficult, especially if the subject matter is specialized or "niche." Distributors and investors are extremely adverse to risk and anything that doesn't fit nicely into an easy marketing plan won't be funded by profit-driven entities. It's also a cold hard fact of documentary distribution today that most documentaries will not make a profit.
And that's OK. Our goal isn't to make a profit. We want people all over the world to see and enjoy I Always Said Yes.
By appealing directly to people like you, who have an interest in Wakefield Poole or who have seen and enjoyed previous work by director/producer Jim Tushinski, we can make the movie we want to make and tell Wakefield's amazing and touching story. Arts funding in the US is almost nonexistent. Grass roots fund raising for documentaries is a vital and empowering way to go. By donating money to the making of a documentary you would like to see, you're helping get unheard stories to a wider audience. In effect, you're making your voice heard and helping decide what films get made. [Top]
Fiscal Sponsorship is one entity accepting and managing funds for another. As a fiscal sponsor, the San Francisco Film Society collects all funds for a project, redistributes the funds as necessary, keeps a separate ledger for all funds accepted for the individual's project, and makes records of such transactions available to those who might require it. The San Francisco Film Society maintains these records in the form of account status reports and other disclosures required by grant guidelines and/or federal law.
Like most fiscal sponsors, the San Francisco Film Society charges an administrative fee for any monies granted through the Fiscal Sponsorship program. This 7% fee covers the cost of the management of donations to this project (including costs associated with bookkeeping, check distribution, fiscal reporting to funders, inclusion on the Film Society web site, donations accepted through the Film Society web site, and on-going technical assistance).
The primary advantage to working with a fiscal sponsor is that it allows an individual to solicit funds from government, foundation, individual and other philanthropic sources. Furthermore, these donations are then tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
We started production in 2007, but had to put the project on hiatus due to lack of funds. In 2009, I Always Said Yes received several generous donations that allowed us to complete production in July 2010. Post-production has been slow but steady and we had several Work in Progress screenings in North America and Europe in 2012. We're now in post production, which will be complete in late May 2013. Festival screenings will begin in summer/fall 2013. [Top]
The money will be used for every aspect of getting I Always Said Yes made in a professional and efficient manner: licensing film clips and music, hiring editors and sound mixers and composers, archival research, transferring film clips from 16mm to a digital format, insurance, legal fees, and on and on. [Top]
No, we're not. An investor invests money in the hope that there will be a profit on his or her investment. We've been around the documentary business for a while and know that the chances of turning a profit on I Always Said Yes are slim. That's the reason we went the fiscal sponsorship route. Plus, investors generally want some say in how the movie is made and distributed. We prefer to be more in control of all aspects of making our films. [Top]
Yes, we are. In fact, the Pacific Pioneer Fund recently granted I Always Said Yes (then titled Dirty Poole) a $6000 grant toward post-production. But let's be realistic...arts funding in the US is not very robust. And there is a lot of competition. So we can't depend on grants if we want to complete the film. [Top]
That's a sensitive question for filmmakers. It's rare that budgets are made public except to investors, producers, or non-profits considering making a grant. By granting us fiscal sponsorship, the San Francisco Film Society approved our budget, which should make potential donors feel more at ease. Also, we're independent filmmakers and are used to doing more with less. There's no air-conditioned trailers or 5-star catering on these shoots. We're professional, but efficient, and are always looking for ways to cut costs. But look, if you're serious about donating a large chunk of money to help get I Always Said Yes made (for example at Producer or Mogul level) and really really want to see the budget, we can talk.
What's your total budget?
See the previous question. We don't give out that information. Let's just say it's under $500,000. We're considered a micro-budget feature by any standards. [Top]
We don't know for sure! But we expect a lot of film festival screenings followed by DVD, online, and television distribution. We may even try a small scale theatrical release before DVD, probably in New York and San Francisco. If you look at where That Man: Peter Berlin played, you'll get an idea of some likely screening venues. However, we think Dirty Poole will have a wider appeal and will likely be shown to more diverse audiences. [Top]
Commercial DVD distribution is a big part of getting I Always Said Yes seen. But that won't happen until the documentary has screened at as many film festivals as possible. A commercial DVD would likely be available 8-12 months after the festival premiere. Could be sooner, could be later. If you can't wait that long, consider donating. Donors at all levels will get a preview DVD of the completed documentary once it is completed. Donors who give $1000 or more will get an autographed Special Edition 2-DVD set of the completed film, packed with extras, well before a commercial DVD is available on Amazon.com or Netflix. [Top]
As part of making I Always Said Yes, Jim Tushinski is remastering many of Poole's films and is working with Poole to ensure his films are released on DVD. The first commercial DVD release in the series The Films of Wakefield Poole is a DVD containing two features: the uncensored, Director's Cut of Moving (1974) and the previously unavailable last film of Wakefield Poole, One, Two, Three... (1985). The DVD is available through Gorilla Factory Productions. Other Poole films will also be released by Gorilla Factory Productions on DVD, including Poole's re-edit of his rare documentary/sex film hybrid, Take One (1977).
The digitally remastered DVDs of Bijou and Boys in the Sand are available only to Dirty Poole donors as Thank You gifts.
For a look at some of the remastering work, please visit the Clips page.
TLA released The Wakefield Poole Collection on DVD about 10 years ago. This 2-DVD set contains many rare short films, an interview with Wakefield by director Jerry Douglas, commentary by Wakefield Poole, and the films Boys in the Sand, Bijou, and Boys in the Sand II. Unfortunately, the films were not remastered well and the image quality suffers for Boys in the Sand and particularly Bijou.
You may find VHS or DVDs of some of Poole's films, but these are illegal, bootleg copies and Wakefield Poole gets no compensation from their sale. In addition, the quality of these bootlegs is poor and in some cases, the films are edited without Poole's permission. [Top]
No. There will be male and female nudity in archival footage, adult language, and even some French-kissing between men (also in archival footage), but we're making I Always Said Yes so that a wider audience (gay and straight) can appreciate the life, contributions, and work of Wakefield Poole. While Poole primarily made sexually explicit films, many of them can't be accurately classified as pornography, especially if judged by the standards of porn today. Similar to what we did with the subject of sexuality and porn in That Man: Peter Berlin, we're planning on making a documentary for adults that may in part be about porn, but is not itself porn. [Top]